Lions lament

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

As a long-suffering Detroit Lions fan, this says it all. 21-56 since Matt Millen took over as Lions president, worse than even the expansion Houston Texans.

December 7, 10:58 p.m.

Here’s one set of fans “mad as hell and not taking it anymore.” Sean Baligian used to work at WSPD, the talk station in Toledo. I see he’s making national news now.

Print this.

It’s simply common sense, isn’t it?

I love it when people respond to my letters to the editor in the Daily Times here. This is what the poor uninformed chap wrote:

Support Gilchrest in his ANWR stance

Rush Limbaugh has been urging his listeners to put the pressure on Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md. 1st, and other Republication moderates who refused to vote for the budget reconciliation bill on Nov. 9 as long as it contained a provision opening the ANWR to oil drilling.

As a swing voter and environmentalist who visted Kaktovic and Arctic Village in 1996, I am happy to support a Republican congressman who recognizes the importance of a pristine area to the health of the ecosystem of the entire north slope and Brooks Range.

Contrary to a recent Daily Times letter to the editor, the coastal plain is not “barren,” but a great birthing ground for the nearly 200 wildlife species, including polar bears, musk oxen and caribou and more than 135 species of birds.

Granted, we are in an energy crunch and the price of gasoline and heating fuel has been rising. But drilling in the ANWR will not put oil in the pipelines for at least a decade, and will not produce enough to appreciably lower prices on the world market.

Opening the ANWR for drilling is a Bush plum for Young, Stevens and Murkowski, and the voters of Alaska who receive a monthly check from the oil bonanza fund — a fund that may soon be depleted.

Americans are being asked to sell a portion of their birthright for a mess of potage.

Gilchrest needs Delmarva’s support for his courageous stand on this sensitive issue. Conserve the environment — and turn off the radio when Limbaugh comes on. Let Rush know we can take care of our own.

Bill Horne

Salisbury

So this is what I wrote back. We’ll see if they have the guts to print it.

To the Editor:

Because Bill Horne’s letter of December 2 is the answer to mine, this is my counter to his.

It’s a very shortsighted position that he and Congressman Gilchrest agree on. While it’s admirable that he’s caring for the caribou and other wildlife species that inhabit the North Slope area, he’s forgetting the human costs that not having a dependable source of energy will extract on our economy. It’s a shame that we have waited this long to begin the exploration process on the North Slope because had we began when it was first proposed, the initial gallons of gasoline could have already been in our tanks.

The wildlife of the North Slope has been present there for untold generations while they were sitting thousands of feet above millions of barrels of oil. The wildlife of the North Slope will be there generations hence whether we drill for oil or not. Don’t let Mr. Horne convince you otherwise when the area that is to be used for actual oil exploration is to ANWR as Salisbury is to the state of Maryland. And even if there is the small chance of an oil-related accident that would create an environmental issue, nature has a very good way of cleaning itself up. We need only look at what the dire predictions that were aired in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill and the Iraqi-induced oil fires in Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War have produced in reality, very little long-term effect.

I’m perfectly aware that someday we’re going to exhaust our oil supplies and we’ll need the ingenuity still present in the American people to solve the problem, much as we’ve solved problems in every field of science. But if the resources are there, they are accessible, and the benefits of using them outweigh the unlikely risks to wildlife to extract them, then I believe it’s time to go ahead and do so.

Mr. Horne and Congressman Gilchrest may feel they have a position that benefits all in the long term, but I strongly disagree. It’s long past time to start working on a real energy program that uses American resources and knowledge to cut down our dependence on foreign supplies. Drilling in ANWR is a necessary step in the right direction.

As for Rush Limbaugh, it’s nice to know he agrees with me on the subject.

Michael Swartz
Salisbury

It’s simply common sense, isn’t it? Ask yourself – what is more important and higher on the plane of existence – caribou or humans?

I liked another Daily Times letter I saw today, so I feel no need to respond – I’ll reprint it here instead.

It has been said, “We use the past to judge the present and to predict the future.” There is no other way. Of course “hindsight is 20-20.” If we knew what tomorrow would bring we would all be rich, but we don’t know.

Using the past as a guide we know what to expect from our associations. Often we would refuse to believe what our senses tell us. When we do, we usually suffer the consequences of our foolishness. Still, it is human nature to hope for the best. In our day, (I’m 76), we have witnessed the atrocities of Adolph Hitler, Stalin and others who desired world domination. More recently, Saddam Hussein.

I can judge by his past deeds that the world was a dangerous place with him in power. He was not the same as Osama bin Laden, but they were cut, as it were, from the same cloth. Hate, murder, intimidation and domination were their methods to achieve their aim, and still are.

On 9-11, the world was really no different from what it is today. Threats existed, but that’s all they were, threats. When we lost thousands of innocent lives to the vicious radical suicidal attacks on the World Trade Center we were suddenly in shock. We looked for someone to blame. Why us? We look especially at our leaders. What would we do?

Going back again to draw on the past, the date 1915; the Lucitania (sic) was sunk by a German U-Boat. Our president had, up till then, been reluctant to get into the war that was raging in Europe. Again, after that attack, America came together as only a committed and determined people can and we were victorious; again. Without our participation it is not difficult to see where we, and the world, would be today.

The same conditions existed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Again, America came together to stand as a free people who refused to be cowered into submission by a terrorist attack. The past is a wonderful teacher. Today, we stand as a free people and witness the atrocities of terrorists who would cower us into submission and deny us the right to defend ourselves from the truth, justice and freedom that we so rightly desire; even that our forefathers died for.

To that end, we have again dispersed our young men to fight and die to defend our interest in other lands. Today, our troops are in the process of helping and training a people that has suffered from the tyranny of ruthless men. Helping them to stand on their feet so they can defend themselves while defending the freedoms of others; us in particular.

Where Iraq was a war of defending our interest, it has become a political whipping boy. I think it is disgraceful upon Americans as a people not to support the engagement that we are involved in and see it through to the finish so that our men have not died in vain. To do otherwise will only allow more attacks upon Americans as a people (upon our homeland) which will surely come, as it has in other lands. It has been promised to us, and I believe it will come unless we settle this thing now.

As the words of the song state: “I’ll gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.”

S. Lee Smith Jr.

Salisbury

Stand up and cheer for this man! That’s proof of the saying “age begets wisdom.”

Now I know that a lot of people don’t support our being in Iraq, most of them seemingly populate the partisan media. Sometimes I wish I could go out, knock them upside the head, and scream, “Don’t you understand! The jihadists want to kill us, kill our way of life, kill our great nation, all for the sake of building up a caliphate that would plunge us back into the Dark Ages! Listen to me, damn it! OUR side is the side of right. If they win, do you honestly think you’ll have a job? You’ll be the first to be stoned as the useful idiots.”

So spare me the bullshit as you snivel, “Well, I support the troops but I don’t support their mission…” You’re with us or against us. Black or white. Bitch all you want, Dan, about me being a so-called right-wing tool, but I’m right on this one.

And yes, my site is now officially capitalist. Since I listen to and read the stuff and I think it’s cool, more people should get it. Oh, and speaking of cool stuff, go listen to “Snowblind” by Black Sabbath and tell me that’s not the coolest drum song ever. Just mash those cymbals, Bill. (They just played it on the radio.)

All right, my ranting is through for tonight. It was a passionate post, wasn’t it?

Sometimes capitalism sucks

Tonight I went bowling and I heard some sad news. The rumor I heard is that the bowling house where I bowled my summer league recently is meeting its wrecking ball demise soon. It’s a real shame, apparently the place is only 10 years old or so. Not only that, I just bowled a pro-am there for a PBA Wild Turkey East regional event in October.

It’s got to be hard on all those who signed up for a league over the last few months only to find their league’s being pulled out from under them. There’s not really enough vacancies at my current house, Seaford Lanes, to cover all these bowlers.

A sad story in some respects. Yes, Seaford will get its Home Depot or Lowe’s or whatever they’re putting up there. I know that it’s probably considered the “highest and best use” for the site, which sits on a relatively busy road but not right on U.S. 13 (that road sort of bypasses the main part of Seaford to the east.) And it’s not unheard of in this country to see a bowling alley go away. Where I lived before in Toledo, both of the former bowling centers that were situated close to the Westfield Shoppingtown were razed for retail establishments.

Now I come from a bowling family. I’m a proud card-carrying member of the United States Bowling Congress and Lower Delaware Bowling Association. My mom and dad were both league bowlers for years and years, they finally stopped just recently because they’re moving to Florida. Both of my brothers bowl, my brother LJ is the proud owner of rings for 298, 299, and 300 games. He, my other brother Tom, and my dad have all even participated in the ABC (now USBC) national tournament. I’m sure someday I will too, my game is starting to improve to that kind of level. Just tonight I got my awards for a set I bowled recently – 75 pins over average game and 140 pins over average series patches, a 200 game key chain, and 600 series card deck. Threw a 658 series (“triple deuce” – all 3 games over 200) with a 159 average. No, I’m not a sandbagger, I suck at converting spares sometimes. Much easier for me to throw a good game when I don’t have to worry about them.

(Note to USBC: Baltimore or Philadelphia would be nice places for your national tournament.)

However, these days there’s fewer and fewer league bowlers out there. Personally, I like having the opportunity to go out and bowl every Friday night. For a lot of folks though, it’s hard to have that kind of commitment in a 24 hour world, and I can understand that. Many houses have abandoned weekend leagues in favor of “glow bowling” where they create more of a party atmosphere. And, since the rolls of league participation and regular bowlers continue to shrink, a lot of houses find themselves sitting on land that’s far less profitable as a bowling center and coveted by retailers who like the idea of a property that already has all of the necessary services there and more than likely sits on a major thoroughfare.

There was a book out a few years back called Bowling Alone. It used that metaphor as an explanation of why Americans aren’t as social as they used to be, prefering to stay inside their houses and entertain themselves. I know how it is…I was married with a child (not once, but twice!) and there were a lot of nights where we ran ourselves ragged keeping up with what we wanted our (step)daughter to do in order to “keep her out of trouble.” Particularly with my first ex-spouse, we tried to do our part in our neighborhood – PTA, helping out with the young’un’s sports teams, Block Watch, etc., etc.

As it turned out, doing for others ruined us in a lot of respects (which is why we’re ex-spouses.) However, I think if the world were run a different way things would be a lot easier. A lot of couples are running themselves ragged because of one major factor: the wife has to work in order to maintain a lifestyle, yet also play mom to a child who ends up being a latchkey kid. I happen to think that moms are more nurturing and really want to be a mom, not necessarily attorney or real estate agent. (Now you can cite my track record as a married guy to know that my advice is worth the cost of this blog.)

It would not bother me a whole lot if people started to take the time and really consider the costs of “having it all.” I’m particularly annoyed by these places like Quicken Loans, who encourage people to take the one tangible asset they have equity in (their home) and borrow against it for yet more “stuff.” Let’s face it – is a big screen TV going to make you closer as a family when it sits silently because Mom’s working, Dad’s online, Johnny sits in his room listening to his iPod, and Sally is out at cheerleading practice?

Maybe if we focused less on “stuff” and more on quality time Mom and Dad can go join the ma and pa league at the local bowling house, grab dinner, and have a nice mini-date every other Saturday night. Or, even better, find an adult-child league and make a family outing from it.

It’s too late to save Strikemaster Lanes. But it’s not too late to reestablish family by cutting back on stuff and adding to quality time by letting Mom be Mom.

Welcome to monoblogue!

On my old site I somewhat confined myself to the political realm. But now it’s more about my passions on a lot of subjects.

I was actually trying to think of some serious weighty subject to do the “first” blog post on, but then a package arrived in the mail today. I’ve only waited 38 years for this shirt!

And there is a parallel in the shirt’s arrival to the purpose of monoblogue. On my old site I somewhat confined myself to the political realm. But now it’s more about my passions on a lot of subjects. (If you go to the “About” tab you’ll see something about my thoughts while creating monoblogue.) If you want to see my archives from the old website, I did place links to almost every one of my 100+ posts in the “ttrwc” section of the site. You’ll see that a lot of them are politically related. Politics is something I follow closely and will frequently comment on.

The post that may tell you a little bit about the 38 year wait for my shirt is the one called Joy in Mudhenville, part 2.

But tonight I’m just getting my feet wet here and making sure it all looks good. Tomorrow I’m going to catch up on my reading and start getting out the red meat. Actually, I’m watching the MAC championship and it’s tough to work back and forth while keeping focus. How’s that for honesty?